by Gina B.
Fitness is all the rage, and it’s a beautiful thing. I see lots of my friends and colleagues challenging themselves and looking great in the process. It’s time for me to jump on the bandwagon, with a little help from a friend.
This is driven by health, of course, with a large dose of vanity thrown in. Good relationships begin with healthy minds, bodies and spirits. Even if you’ve been in a relationship for a while, you owe it to your partner to keep it tight!
That said, this body needs to be healthy . . . and hot! I have some work to do.
I have to admit that I’m lucky – I’ve always been athletic with good muscle memory. I can thank my parents for my tendency to be muscular. I’ve had years where I was a complete gym rat, avid boxer and Crossfitter. I haven’t seen those days in quite some time. I’m not a terrible eater – I haven’t eaten red meat since I was 20, I’m not partial to pasta, don’t drink soda, and I’ve somehow managed to quell a sweet tooth that has been raging out of control my entire life. I love vegetables and truly enjoy cooking healthy food.
That’s the good stuff. Now for the bad stuff . . .
I actually hate to work out. I love the effects and how I feel afterward, but I really have to motivate myself to get to the gym. I envy those who seem to love the feel of weights in their hands, and can push themselves on the treadmill. In fact, I despise the treadmill and all things related to running. “Fortunately” for me I’ve had three knee surgeries and have been told by my surgeon that running should never be a part of my exercise routine. What a great excuse! I much prefer competitive sports.
The other issue is that I love a lot of foods that I shouldn’t, and have been hiding a secret addiction to pizza for several years (which is really no secret to anyone who knows me). Since I’m being honest, I’ll admit that I have an issue with cheese in general. And wine! (I swear I should have been born in France, where cheese and wine are enjoyed daily. ) Also? As much as I love drinking wine, I HATE drinking water. Especially in mass quantities. To add insult to injury, I’m not a fan of eating frequently throughout the day.
That said, even though I have some good habits, I have REALLY bad ones that counter them.
When I was looking around for a program, I wanted something that would sustainable over time. There is no way that I could do any of those diets that eliminate complete food groups that happen to be yummy. I can’t imagine a life without even the occasional piece of bread – or any other sort of harsh deprivation.
Alternatively, some of my friends have experienced excellent results with their 90-Day challenges that involve protein shakes and healthy eating. I enjoy cheering them on, but those plans don’t work for me. I have a health condition that has caused my doctor to strip soy from my diet, so I must stay away from anything that includes soy isolates. No shakes for me!
I was explaining my dilemma over breakfast to my friend Andrea Nichols-Everett, owner of D3 (Dre’s Diesel Dome) here in Chicago. Fitness and nutrition enthusiast that she is, she relished in the challenge of creating a plan that I can live with.
My guidelines were that it had to be something that would fit in with my lifestyle. I realize that I have to make compromises to achieve my goals, therefore I will commit to making the time for fitness and trying to rectify some of my nutritional bad behavior.
After assessing my current state, we decided that I could lose 13 pounds and tone some key areas (butt and thighs).
For the next 8 weeks, I will be adhering to the following:
- Alternating days, meaning that I’m on plan every other day
- Eating small meals, 6 times a day
- Eating clean, which means eating high quality foods and eliminating sugar
- Hauling my ass into D3 at least three times a week for high-intensity classes
- Supplementing classes with short in-home workouts on the days in between
- Attempting to drink a gallon of water a day (we'll see what happens)
I will be chronicling this challenge, which we’re calling Baby Steps To Fitness, here and on my personal blog (http://theginaspot.com), where there will also be comments from Dre as she guides me through the transformation. It should be very entertaining.